NEW YORK — The U.N. Labor Department said Friday that jobs growth slowed to a 1.3 percent annual rate in March and is likely to continue to lag behind the pace of economic growth in the United States.
The report comes as the unemployment rate has risen sharply in recent months to 9.1 percent.
The unemployment rate is expected to rise to 9 percent in October and then rise to 12.9 percent in December.
The Labor Department also said the labor force participation rate fell to 62.9 from 65.1.
The economy added 215,000 jobs last month.
The jobless rate rose to 5.5 percent in March, the lowest rate since the mid-1970s.
The U.K. added 1.7 million jobs in March.
Despite the slow pace of job creation, the government said the unemployment gap is now at its lowest level in six years, a point at which the unemployment-rate gap is the widest in six decades.
Jobless benefits for Americans were down to $3,948 per month in March from $4,931 a month in February, and wages for nonfarm workers were down 4.9 percentage points to $27,800.
With all the turmoil in the world, it’s not a good time to be unemployed, said John O’Donnell, chief economist at IHS Global Insight.
That is why I think that the economy will remain on track for growth in April and May and the economy could rebound by the end of that month.
There’s going to be some slack.
And the labor market is going to keep improving and keep getting better.
I don’t think that there’s any way to put a date on it.
But we’re not far off.